Graduation Season

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Right now in the U.S., Pomp and Circumstance is playing on repeat. Students are packing their bags, putting away their textbooks, and donning their graduation gowns for a brisk march and a long ceremony that’ll initiate them into the next phase of their life as adults. It’s an interesting and overwhelming time, and stylists, as always, are there to make sure it’s beautiful, too. Whether it’s styling for the graduation itself or giving a young person an all-new look to commemorate their new life, graduation season presents a number of opportunities for growth and activity in your salon. So what should you do to seize them?

Schedule a targeted sale.
Offering graduating seniors a discount on hair services and/or aftercare products is a sure-fire way to attract new customers to your salon. A little attention and recognition can go a long way towards validating a client and fostering a positive relationship with them, so make it clear that you acknowledge their achievements and want to celebrate with them in the form of a well-placed sale!

Feature graduating students in your community.
Another, more personal way to recognize your graduating clients and make your salon a celebratory space is to feature their pictures, stories, and/or style transformations in the salon itself. Ask your clients whether they’d be willing to share these details, and offer them a reward or incentive for doing so! For example, you could select a few and give them full, complimentary makeovers, then show off the before & afters. This works as a promotion tactic, too.

Mentor a young stylist.
One distinct aspect of graduation season is a subtle-yet-persistent energy (sometimes bordering on anxiety) that comes from a whole new generation of young talent looking for something new to fill their time and bank accounts. Bring this energy and talent into your salon by mentoring a recent or soon-to-be grad who’s interested in hair and hair extensions. It’s the best form of training, for you and the student, and it could potentially produce a dedicated employee for your salon in the future.

Go back to school.
When it comes to new lives and new opportunities, it’s not just students who have all the fun. You can always return to school, get more training, or develop your career, too, and Babe has numerous resources to help you do just that. Sign up for a Mastery Tour or dealer class to interact with other top stylists and perfect your craft, or tag along with us to a Trade Show and help install hair extensions as a Babe show stylist. The next phase of your career is just around the corner.

Click here to learn more about Babe events and education opportunities.

 

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How To Ward Off Spring Fever

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Spring is like a siren song. It has an eerie-yet-agreeable way of making you want to jump ship to swim with the dolphins, frolic in the sunshine, or just sit outside with some sparkling water and a Kindle to keep you company. So what’s a busy, committed stylist to do when the urge to drop everything becomes too overwhelming to ignore?

Make the salon your paradise.
You don’t need to deprive yourself of fresh air and sunlight to do your work. If your heart is calling for springtime, bring the springtime into your salon. Open all the blinds, dim the inside lights, crack a window or install an air purifier to freshen up the air (which helps a load with allergies, too!). Then get to the good stuff—light some candles for a dew-like scent, play some gentle, upbeat music, and fill the space with flowers, which is sure to have you smiling ear-to-ear in no time.

Give yourself a fresh start.
Maybe your daily routine has gotten a bit old, or you’ve gotten a little too familiar with your space. That means it’s time to switch things up! Go on a spring cleaning spree, rearrange your salon furniture, update your tools and materials, and give your routine a total makeover. You can do this by streamlining your processes and making them more efficient, by introducing new services, and even by revising your pricing—something you should absolutely do now and then to account for your added experience and expertise!

Take a holiday.
If you’re still feeling sluggish, trapped, unmotivated, or under the weather, take an actual break. You’re a stylist, not a martyr, and you deserve a vacation just as much as any other dedicated worker. Give yourself permission to stay at home for a couple of days, or plan a trip to the destination of your choice. Sometimes the only remedy to the call of spring is to literally go outside.

Revive your practice.
Maybe you’re dealing with something a little more profound than just spring fever or a little burnout. If you’re feeling tired with your work, unfulfilled by your passion, or limited in your prospects, it may be time to up the ante on your career. Here at Babe, we always offer stylists opportunities for professional development, continued education, and interaction with other stylists from around the country. Catch us at a Mastery Tour class, come see us at a Trade Show, or stop by a dealer event to get started. In time, you could even be invited to events as an instructor or Babe show stylist, elevating your career and expanding your horizons on a regular basis!

Do you have any advice for warding off spring fever? What has worked in your salon? Let us know in the comments below!

 

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The Best Ways to Invest Your Tax Return

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Tax season is awful until you get your tax return check—then it transforms into an opportunity. That little bit of extra income for the month can be saved, spent, or invested. You can apply it to your next vacation or to your ongoing education. Here at Babe, we like to invest our tax returns in hair extension tools, courses, and professional development. Here’s why you might want to do the same!

Flexibility
Getting some spare cash opens up a world of options that you may not otherwise consider pursuing, and Babe is constantly offering new and exciting avenues for exploration. Look into our Lash Extension products and courses, discover our Babe Lash serum and makeup line, or dive into Fusion Micro Bonding with peace of mind and copious flexibility.

Convenience
Our products are designed to make your job as a stylist easier and more efficient. Shave time off of your installations with the Quick Pick Hair Parter, Hair Organizer, and our method-specific tools, and cut down your re-installation time with the Styrofoam Mannequin Head. Employ our quickest installation method—Tape-In—to achieve a full-head installation in under an hour. We’re here to streamline every aspect of the hair extension process, so investing in our products means unparalleled and ongoing convenience in your salon!

Reputation
Being up-to-date on all of the latest extension techniques and equipped with the newest hair extension methods and devices will make you a stand-out in the hair extension space. A well-stocked hair extension closet and well-maintained hair extension tools will indicate that you are a professional who is prepared for any extension job that comes your way. Investing in Babe’s products and services equals more human and manufactured capital in your salon, and more trust/respect from your clients and recognition from your peers. A good reputation is vital for a sustainable business, and it’ll help you to leverage your skills and increase your income.

Return on Investment
Ultimately, Babe tools and services enable you to generate more income in your salon, and to do so evermore quickly and easily. Well-made tools that last through many years of installations cost relatively little per use, but help to generate significantly more revenue. Tools that help to cut down on installation time allow you to earn more per hour, and to fit more installations into your schedule. And our top-notch hair extensions keep your clients coming back for move-up after move-up, so you can earn reliably and continuously throughout.

Ready to get started? Visit your local distributor today or sign up for an online or in-person education course.

 

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Spring Cleaning Tips

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Spring is in the air! It’s finally time to ditch the coats, boots, and styles of winter for lighter, fresher pieces, and to freshen up our salon spaces, too! But if you’re new to the spring cleaning game, don’t fret. Today, we’ll feature some of our go-to spring cleaning tips that help us in the salon, the office, and at home!

Pace yourself.
It might be tempting to conquer the entire room in one go, but oftentimes you’ll end up burning yourself out before you even finish. To make sure you stay at it, recognize that spring cleaning is a process—not a single task or action—and approach it piece-by-piece. Focus on cleaning the mirrors and windows one day, and emptying out the supply closet the next. Don’t bite off more than you can chew all at once.

Shed the excess.
We always recommend emptying the space out a little bit before you really get into the thick of cleaning and organizing. Pull your items from the shelves, empty out some drawers, and go through your inventory to get everything in view. Then, dispose of any expired products, identify any unused tools and gift them to someone else, and evaluate which products are selling well and which ones aren’t. This is your time to get rid of anything that’s not serving you, and to free up some salon space in the process.

Deep clean.
Once you’ve cleared the stuff off of all your surfaces, go to town with the soap and disinfectant. Spring cleaning is the perfect opportunity to do a really thorough inspection of your salon, and you’ll be surprised to see just how dirty and grimy places can be even in spite of regular cleaning. Polish the floor, get into the nooks and crannies, reach into the light fixtures—go everywhere. You’ll feel great when you see your salon looking as good as new.

Fix what’s broken.
If there’s a chair in your salon that squeaks when you turn it, or a chip in the mirror at the very corner of the frame, now’s the time to finally fix it (or replace it, if necessary). Revisit all of your tools, containers, furniture items, and other frequently-used things to make sure that they’re in full working order, then set whatever’s out of shape to one side so you can address it immediately.

Take inventory.
If you don’t have an inventory system in place in your salon, now is a good time to set one up! An inventory system includes everything from the way your products are organized, the means by which they’re replenished, and the documents you keep to review all of your stock at a glance. A simple but effective system could involve just a tidy inventory closet, an Excel spreadsheet, and maybe a whiteboard shopping list. While you’re creating/updating your inventory lists, take the time to thoroughly review your stock and strategize for the future. You may find that you’re missing some of Babe’s newest tools, or that you’re chronically running low on a few select extension colors.

Reorganize.
When you’re ready to place all of your knick-knacks and products back into their vested places, think critically about your existing organization scheme, and whether there are any ways to improve the layout of your space or salon to improve your workflow. Place your most-used items within easy reach, highlight certain products by giving them a place of prominence, or keep a small selection of hair extensions at your desk to spark conversations about Babe. Changing up the arrangement of your items can have dramatic effects!

Create new systems.
Cleaning doesn’t end when spring is over, and it’s worth thinking about your ongoing cleaning routines so you can maintain an efficient and beautiful salon year-round. Create a schedule that addresses every area of your salon in the long run (ex. wash floors one Saturday, clean tools the next), then stick to it. Also, consider updating your waste disposal practices. Cut hair and used extensions can be reused in many ways, and for many purposes, including as test strands, pillow stuffing, oil absorbers, rope, doll hair, etc. Give old hair new life while preventing unnecessary waste. It’s a win-win!

Is your salon looking all sparkly and new after your spring cleaning session? Share some pictures of the results on Babe’s Instagram account!

 

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Color Hacks for Babe Hair

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Coloring jobs can be intimidating, especially when they’re being performed on human hair extensions. Fortunately, Babe has many resources, tips, and tricks to conquer any coloring exploit with Babe hair. Here, we’ve featured some of our best color hacks for your next color transformation.

Blending existing color shades
One way to update a client’s hair color involves the use of hair extensions alone—no color and no developer, nothing other than pure and simple Babe hair. Select shades from our available collection, then use the hair extensions to simulate the desired look. For example, though Babe may not offer the exact shade of red your client is looking for, you can mix strands of 30/33 (Ruby) and 27/613 (Bridget) to produce the same effect as a single, multi-dimensional red color. This is our traditional extension color method, and it’s a favorite among clients seeking highlights, lowlights, balayages, and even ombres without any color processing.

Coloring extensions to desired level
Custom color can be used to explore the terrain outside of Babe’s existing color collection, making any and every color available to clients. Whether you’re mixing for pastel hair, mermaid-esque locks, an icy silver ‘do, or even the perfect match to your client’s natural hair color, the possibilities of color are basically limitless. The only rules to keep in mind are:
– Use professional, semi or demi-permanent colors, only
– Do not lighten or bleach the hair—only darken
– Perform a strand test first
– Pre-wash extensions with sulfate-free shampoo before coloring them
– Color extensions before installing them
– Stay within two shades of the extension base color (unless you’re working with #60 (Patsy) hair)
– Always flip extensions to color both sides
– Go with the direction of the hair’s cuticle when coloring extensions
– Remove all tape from Tape-In extensions before coloring them
– Use only color-safe, sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner on color-treated hair

Warm-to-warm, cool-to-cool
One tip that we’ve found particularly helpful in the coloring process (though it’s not a hard-and-fast rule, per se) is to stick with the same tone of hair. That means that, if your desired end color is a warm blond, select a warm-colored extension in a lighter shade. Similarly, if your desired end color is a cool medium brown, select a cool light brown to color, so as to preserve the tone of the hair extension. This will produce particularly vivid results.

#60 (Patsy) as an ideal base
When performing more drastic (or imaginative) color transformations, it might be necessary to start with a blank canvas. For Babe, that means choosing our #60 (Patsy) extensions. This shade is one of our lightest and most neutral, making it versatile enough to use in just about any color transformation. It will not have the same staying power as color jobs performed on shades within 2 steps of the end color, but it will have magnificently saturated results! This quality lends itself especially well to pastel, emerald, and fantasy-color jobs.

When in doubt, Color Swatch
If ever you feel uncertain about a color selection, or about the interaction between a color formula and an extension hue, refer to the Babe Color Swatch. It’s a great reference for extension colors, and can be used in a multitude of different ways to facilitate your color job. This March-April, we’re featuring a special Babe Tag promotion with our Color Swatch: get 3 colorful discounts and a free Quick Pick Hair Parter with your purchase of the Color Swatch. Discounts include: a free marketing kit, a free intro DvD, and 10% off your next order. Visit your local distributor to take advantage of the deal!

Did you try any of these tips in your salon? How did it go? Share pictures of your color transformations with us on Babe’s Instagram!

 

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Time for All the Spring Things!

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It’s officially spring! That means it’s time to transition your salon from the variously cozy and crisp styles of winter to the romantic, breezy looks of spring. If that prospect sounds overwhelming to you, or you’re just not sure where to start, don’t worry—Babe is here with some tips to help you through the project!

Lighter, warmer hair colors
Many clients will be coming in for a seasonal update in the next few months, usually to lift their hair to a warmer or lighter hair color. Prepare by stocking up on golden and fawn-like hues and inundating yourself with plenty of inspiration. Our Pinterest boards are a great place to browse popular colors and styles.

Pastel looks
Pastel hair colors are particularly popular at the moment, and besides being refreshing and eye-catching, they’re also seasonally appropriate. Fill your cabinets with #60 (Patsy) Babe hair to custom color Easter-y soft pinks, blues, greens, and purples.

Bridal ‘dos
Spring is basically marriage season, so brush up on some of your favorite bridal looks to ready yourself for any wedding-related appointments. Once you’ve mastered your Kate Middleton-esque ‘dos, you can whip them out for everything from weddings to school dances—they’re actually incredibly versatile!

Salon spring cleaning
Spring cleaning isn’t only for your home—it’s also vital for your salon. Revisit all of your supplies, donating unused items, replacing damaged ones, and upgrading to new equipment when necessary. Deep-clean your tools, chairs, and surfaces for a brand-new feel in your salon. Finally, get acquainted with good upkeep practices to get you through the year until your next spring cleaning.

Inventory update
While you’re cleaning out your salon, take some time to update your Babe hair extension inventory. We regularly add new extension colors, textures, methods, and tools to our collection, so you’re almost guaranteed to have new Babe items on your shopping list each year. You can also attempt to reorganize your extension closet to accommodate the new items.

New sales and promos
Have new Babe items to buy but feeling short on cash? Take advantage of our various Babe promotions! These sales and discounts update every two months, and feature everything from hair extensions to tools to lash extensions, and even education! You can check out our current promotion—the Babe Color Swatch tag discount set plus free Quick Pick Hair Parter—on our Promotions page.

 

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Conquering Consultation Madness

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Sometimes consultations are smooth, speedy affairs. Other times, they’re absolute disasters. To make sure that you’re getting more of the former and less of the latter, take stock of these consultation-specific tips! And, of course, if you have any questions or concerns, get in touch with Babe HQ at 888-840-BABE (2223).

Maintain an organized salon schedule.
An organized salon is a calm and efficient salon, and this reflects on both stylists and clients. Help everyone in the space feel as centered and collected as possible by managing your salon schedule to account for longer-than-expected appointments, lunch breaks, and general breathers. The most important feature of an organized salon schedule? No double-booking!

Focus on one client at a time.
Don’t attempt to conduct a consultation for more than one client at a time. Even if they’re friends or siblings, including another customer in your consultation will divide your attention and compromise the quality of your service. Don’t put yourself in a position where you inadvertently cater more to one client than another, or let your decisions for one client bleed into the next. That being said, it’s perfectly fine to let your client bring a friend or sibling (or whomever) to their consultation so long as they are simply observing or offering moral support.

Have all tools and materials ready beforehand.
Consultations involve some explanation and demonstration, so know what you’re going to cover, and have everything on the scene before your client walks through the door. This could include a Color Swatch (currently featured in our March-April promotion), hair extension samples from various different methods, hair care products, etc. This will allow you to focus on the consultation process, and not on the whereabouts of all your supplies.

Go to the appointment with no expectations.
Even though you’re the experienced party in the hair extension consultation, you’re not the one who calls the shots. Ultimately, it’s the client who determines the success of any service, so it’s their expectations that you should focus on—not your own. The only thing you can do is establish the limits for the service (that is, what is or is not possible in a given situation). So don’t push your ideas onto your client, but rather phrase your opinions as recommendations. Allow the expectations to emerge and evolve gradually over the course of the consultation—as a dialogue between yourself and your client.

Be upfront about all costs, liabilities, and procedures.
Again, consultations are designed to lend clarity to an otherwise complicated process—don’t skip or skim over the necessary discussion of costs and risks. Help your client to be as informed as possible so they can make an assured decision. This will help you in the end, too, as you’ll be able to better meet their expectations and achieve a successful end result.

Gain your client’s explicit approval.
To make sure there are no gaps in communication, and to protect your investment and reputation, have your client literally sign off on all the details of the procedure beforehand. That way, should they come in afterwards complaining about some detail, you can refer back to this agreement to settle the dispute. Revisit the agreement on the day of the service, too, to absolutely ensure that you and your client are on the same page.

Have more consultation tips? Leave them in the comments below! The more the merrier.

 

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How to Make the Most of Your Babe Color Swatch

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No extension consultation is complete without the Babe Color Swatch—a handy little tool featuring 100% Human Remy swatches of all our extension colors (37 and counting!). But did you know you can use the Babe Swatch for more than just choosing shades? Today, we’ll outline some of the lesser-known uses for your Babe Swatch, so you can make the most of it in your salon.

1. Use it to identify your client’s current hair shade. Regardless of whether or not your client is looking for hair extensions, the Color Swatch can be used to identify their current hair color. Incorporate it into your color consultations to help your client describe their own hair color, and gain an understanding of where their hair color sits within a range of shades.

2. Use it to plot your client’s ideal highlight or lowlight shades. The rules of hair extension blending apply to color dimension, too: once you’ve determined your client’s existing hair shade, select a similarly-toned color 2 steps lighter and 2 steps darker as a reference for your highlights and lowlights.

3. Use it to imagine a new hair color for your client. Shades on the Color Swatch can be used for more extensive color transformations, too. Use it as a reference for a new all-over color, first by comparing shades to your client’s skin tone to achieve a perfect complement, then by comparing your color formulation’s test strand to the swatch color for accuracy. Feel free to use multiple swatches for inspiration, too.

4. Purchase extra swatches to create a swatch book for color jobs, or for test strands. Test out how certain color formulations will react with Babe hair extensions by pre-coloring swatches. You can compile these tests into a book for easy perusal, or utilize the swatches directly as test strands for specific color jobs.

5. Use it to help new extension clients feel the quality of 100% Human Remy hair. Since the swatches on the Babe Color Swatch are 100% Human Remy, they look and feel exactly the same as our hair extensions themselves. Take advantage of the similarity and let your clients handle the hair. We’re sure they’ll notice the quality!

6. Use a color swatch or practice hair strand to demonstrate care practices to your client. Again, since the quality of the swatches on Babe’s Color Swatch correlate exactly with Babe’s actual hair extensions, swatches can be used to demonstrate proper hair care practices to your client. Let your clients brush, braid, or even wash the swatches, pretending that the metal clasp is the hair extension bond.

From March-April 2017, Babe is offering our special Babe Tag promotion: enjoy 3 friendly little tags with colorful discounts when you purchase Babe’s Color Swatch. Discounts include: a free marketing kit, a free intro DvD, and 10% off your next order. You’ll also get a free Quick Pick Hair Parter! Head over to your local distributor to take advantage of the offer now.

 

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The Easiest Way to Brush Up on Your Technique

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The beauty industry is ever changing, and sometimes it’s hard to keep up with everything that’s going on. You attend trade shows, enroll in high-level courses, attend distributor events, and even join beauty-related social media groups, taking every opportunity that’s offered for you to develop your skills and expand your career. Yet, even so, you find yourself marveling at the next big thing almost as soon as you’ve mastered the previous one. It’s the perfect environment for stylist fatigue, and a total momentum-killer for newly-budding New Year’s resolutions! That’s why, here at Babe, we make a point of updating not only our Online Education and event offerings, but also our YouTube channel—an easily accessible catalog of concise, quickly digestible videos on everything from installation and removal techniques to new product demonstrations and expert advice for your extensions business. If anything new comes up at Babe, expect to see a video about it!

Some of our most popular videos to date are installation how-tos for each of our core methods: Tape-In, Fusion, and I-Tip. These videos feature a summarized, simplified version of what we teach in our Online Education courses (minus consultation, blending, and subsequent certification), making them an ideal tool for brushing up on your extension technique without any additional financial investment, and no significant time investment (videos are regularly less than 5-minutes long). Refresh your practice from the comfort of your own home, whenever you want!

If you’re hungry for a couple of quick-but-informative videos to get started, we recommend:

The BEST Do’s & Don’ts for Professional Hair Extensions
Why Cutting and Blending Extensions is Important
Hair Extension Consultation Tips | How to Avoid Mishaps with Your Client
How to Dye Hair Extensions | Ombre & Pastel Colors

Enjoy!

 

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Fine Hair vs. Thin Hair

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When you first hear them, the terms “fine” and “thin” hair may sound interchangeable. Stylists and clients alike have a number of “go-to” terms to describe the spectrum of hair types and lengths they encounter. Still, knowing what these terms actually mean can help you best suggest an upkeep regimen for your clients (or tighten the screws on your own) and help dispel hair myths and misinformation. Here’s a quick guide for identifying the characteristic differences between fine and thin hair (because they are not inherently the same!) and helping your clients determine for themselves.

We’re really talking about Density…
For our purposes, hair is characterized in two ways: the thickness of the individual strands and how dense (closely packed together) each of the individual follicles are. When a client has thin hair, it technically means that they have fewer hair follicles packed close together. Terms like “sparse” or “low density” may be more technically accurate and better help describe what they actually mean in these cases. While styling a thin-haired client, you may notice that you see a lot more of their scalp (while working) than someone with thick hair. It is possible for clients with thin hair to also have fine hair, but the two aren’t necessarily related.

Individual Thickness
When a client has fine hair, they’re technically referring to the individual thickness or diameter of each strand. A visual spot test for fine hair is the strand comparison: if a client’s hair strand appears to be the same thickness as a sewing thread then they have coarse hair. If it appears to be thinner than this, or has “wispy” characteristics, then it is fine. Some suggest gathering the hair into a ponytail and measuring its circumference, fine hair being that which is less than 2 inches in circumference. Clients with fine hair may complain that the fineness of their hair makes it difficult to manage and style.

Can Clients have both Thin and Fine Hair?
It’s absolutely possible for clients to have a combination of hair that’s both thin and fine, and in these cases, gentle styling techniques and regular maintenance come highly encouraged. Particular attention should be paid towards braiding or styles which pull the hair away from the scalp as they may be harder on thin or fine-haired clients than those with medium or coarse hair. Babe offers a special Tape-In application alternative for thin and/or fine-haired clients seeking hair extensions, which involves using Single Sided Tape to lighten the overall load of the Tape-In hair extensions (more on that next week!).

To summarize: “Fine” hair refers to the thickness or diameter of the individual strand of hair. The opposite of fine hair is coarse hair. “Thin” hair refers to the overall density of the hair follicles across the scalp. The opposite of thin hair is thick hair. It is possible for clients to have fine and thick hair, or coarse and thin hair. On occasion, your client may have both fine and thick hair. These clients will benefit from the use of our Single Sided Tape method, or from alternative installation techniques designed to target thinning. For more information on the hair extension options available to thin and/or fine-haired clients, visit the Everything But Length Portal.

Helping clients determine how to categorize their hair is the first step towards solid hair health and maintenance on an individual and global level. Not only are you assisting their beauty transformation at the salon but empowering them with the knowledge and information they need to keep it up once they’re on their own.

 

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